… and we are in bed together
and we don’t care
about anything …
I’m just dying to say, “Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?” or “Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?” But you can’t say that.
I wonder if you know yet that you’ll leave me. That you are a child playing with matches and I have a paper body. You will meet a girl with a softer voice and stronger arms and she will not have violent secrets or an affection for red wine or eyes that never stay dry. You will fall into her bed and I’ll go back to spending Friday nights with boys who never learn my last name.
I have chased off every fool who has tried to sleep beside me.
You think it’s romantic to fuck the girl who writes poems about you. You think I’ll understand your sadness because I live inside my own.
But I will show up at your door at 2 am, wild-eyed and sleepless. And try and find some semblance of peace in your breastbone and you will not let me in. You will tell me to go home.
1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things
2. Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same.
3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
8. It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
13. I’m not a dog.
14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
19. You were too cruel to love for a long time.
20. It just didn’t work out.
21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
23. I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
24. The women in my family die waiting.
25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
28. He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.”
29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile
30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
32. I’m a lover without a lover.
33. I’m lovely and lonely.
34. I belong deeply to myself .
the first word I teach my daughter will be “no”
she will sing it to me and scream it at me
and I will never tell her to quiet down
she will say it when I tell her to go to bed
when I tell her she can’t have anymore candy
or watch anymore television
“no” will be my daughter’s favorite word
not only will I teach her how to say it
but I will teach her to repeat it over and over
again until every single atom in her tiny little body
hums with it
If it makes her less soft than the other girls
I will take her to museums and show her
what marble and stone can become
I will brush her hair and let her wear whatever
whatever that makes her
she will know
that the world has been built upon “no’s”
upon rejections and refusals and swords
if this makes her a warrior in a field of
flowers, then she will walk without fear
of being trampled on
the first word I teach my daughter will be
and when she grows up
in a world that tells her
she can’t walk down the street by herself
that “no” will be heard
it will roar and echo down the block
and she will never be told to keep
she will not know the meaning of the word.
On Periods: Let’s put this shit to bed right now: Women don’t lose their minds when they have period-related irritability. It doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and, hence, tolerance for bullshit. If an issue comes up a lot during “that time of the month,” that doesn’t mean she only cares about it once a month; it means she’s bothered by it all the time and lacks the capacity, once a month, to shove it down and bury it beneath six gulps of willful silence.
We can’t jump off bridges anymore because our iPhones will get ruined. We can’t take skinny dips in the ocean, because there’s no service on the beach and adventures aren’t real unless they’re on Instagram. Technology has doomed the spontaneity of adventure and we’re helping destroy it every time we Google, check-in, and hashtag.
I don’t want to hear about the endless struggles to keep sex exciting, or the work it takes to plan a date night. I want to hear that you guys watch every episode of The Bachelorette together in secret shame, or that one got the other hooked on Breaking Bad and if either watches it without the other, they’re dead meat. I want to see you guys high-five each other like teammates on a recreational softball team you both do for fun. I want to hear about it because I know it’s possible, and because I want it for myself.
‘How do you know when it’s over?’
‘Maybe when you feel more in love with your memories than with the person standing in front of you.’